I have to admit I’m incredibly busy today and don’t have time to write the blog I want to write about thrifty beef stew and dumplings which I’m making today. Therefore I’m recycling an old post from an old blog. Hopefully you’ll still find it useful!
It’s easy to end up with leftover vegetables at the end of a week. It’s very tempting to go for an offer in supermarkets which leaves you with more than you really need. This week I had half a butternut squash, a quarter of a swede and half a cabbage hanging around my fridge. Try not to throw away leftover bits, keep them until you have enough to make leftover vegetable soup.
All you do to make a delicious and healthy soup is:
- soften an onion in oil in a big pan
- chop the veg up roughly and add to the pan
- cover with water, add some bouillon or stock and a cup of lentils
- bring to the boil and let it simmer until all the veg is tender and the lentils are cooked (about 20-30mins depending on how big your chunks of vegetables are)
- blend it all up with a hand blender or mash for a more textured soup. If you’ve diced your veg nicely you may want to leave it as is. If you find it is too thick at this point – just add more water.
- give it a taste and add seasoning if needed.
The key thing with leftovers soup is not to be too precious. If you don’t have an onion, don’t worry – have it without. If you don’t know how much bouillon or stock to add, don’t worry – add a teaspoon, taste when it’s cooked and add more if it needs it. You can make it to your taste, add garlic if you wish or herbs or spices.
I often add lentils to mine, they make the soup more substantial and I usually try to have some in the cupboard. Red split lentil usually cook at about the same pace of most vegetables and add a lovely earthy taste and smooth texture. I also sometimes use green lentils, they keep their shape more, and have more bite. You could add any tinned beans and if you’re really organised you could even soak dry ones overnight (alas, I always forget!). Another great addition is pearl barley.
Of course, we can’t forget about potatoes which make a lovely smooth texture once blended and are brilliant to add if you only have watery or stringy veg such as leeks, broccoli or cauliflower. Leave the skins on to add more fibre and vitamin C.
Give it a try! It’s great to try different combinations of vegetables and you’ll find that some work better than others.
I’m expecting that the soup I’m making today will contain a good 6 servings . You can always freeze it if you don’t want it all in the next couple of days. To save room in your freezer – freeze soup in bags that have a zip-lock, lay them flat and stack them.